“You can enjoy the show” even “in the city sky”, explained a planetary scientist

“We enjoyed the show” parehas ra “in the sky in the city”explained Friday, June 24 in franceinfo Emmanuel Marcq, professor-researcher in planetaology at the University of Versailles-Saint-Quentin, while in the sky of a unique celestial landscape pleased astronomy enthusiasts, the alignment of the solar planets system.

By looking at the sky to the East this parade of planets will be offered to the viewer from midnight to dawn, the most favorable moment: the picture is organized from left to right, starting from day: Mercury, Venus, Uranus, Mars, Jupiter, Neptune and the distant Saturn, the Moon is intercalating for a time in this pseudo alignment due to a unique moment of interaction between the orbits of these stars.

“It’s just a beautiful thing”he said. “All the planets revolve around the sun and every now and then they are all in almost the same sector”, he explained. A show not to be missed, as the next alignment is set for 2124.

franceinfo: Can we observe these seven planets with the eye?

Emmanuel Marcq: The five bright planets among these seven can be seen with the naked eye. And the actual very special configuration is that the planets rise in reverse order at their distance from the sun. Let us first see that Saturn rises at about one o’clock in the morning, followed by Jupiter, and then on Mars, the crescent of the moon comes to be interspersed between the rising of Mars and Venus, then on Mercury and finally the sun. misubang. between five and six in the morning in metropolitan France. The show will last throughout the second half of the night. This is a very rare thing. They are like the sun. If we look at the Eastern sky, we can see them gradually rising into the sky starting on Saturn around one o’clock in the morning and then in sequence until sunrise which closes the show, in a way. , because once the sun has risen, it is inevitable. , the visibility of the planets is greatly reduced. We still, with instruments, observe them even in broad daylight.

When is the best time to watch this movie?

The ideal for practical and aesthetic reasons is to watch about half an hour, forty-five minutes before sunrise. Dawn has just begun to set and the visibility of the planets is still very good. They are almost all there. In this case, we can get the panorama in all its magnificence, occupying almost the entire eastern horizon of the sky. Some are as bright as Venus and Jupiter. You will never forget it, even in the urban sky. It’s a scene open to everyone as long as the weather conditions are good.

Is it in the scientific interest?

Just something beautiful. There was never any particular interest in science. Naatol lang. All the planets revolve around the sun and every now and then they all occur in almost the same sector. And it’s the configuration we have right now that allows us to enjoy this show. We take advantage of the fact that the solar system is flat all over the world. All the planets revolve in the same plane around the Sun. It provides a preferred direction of alignment. In this direction of alignment, it happens that by chance the phases of the orbits, we find ourselves with all the planets gathered in a sector approximately 90 ° wide. It’s not an ultra-precise alignment and so we can still enjoy it for a few days.

Is this a rare occurrence?

Yes, it is rare. The last time this happened was in 1990. The next time was in the 22nd century. In fact, it’s a scene worth watching now, if possible, for a few more days. The moon will move. It is the star that can destroy the line the fastest, because it is the fastest moving in the sky. And then, the planets, especially the fast -moving planets close to the sun, like Mercury and Venus will quickly pass to the other side and break this lineup a bit in a few weeks at most.

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